2013 Lexus GS350 spins a yarn: Motoramic TV

While most Lexus models have a well-defined mission, the Lexus GS has always been an enigma. Is it sporty like a BMW 5-Series? Does it play more to the posh side, like a Mercedes E-Class? It was hard to peg, the Lexus GS. And with a comprehensive redesign for 2013, Lexus' midsize sport sedan still defies easy categorization.

It's tempting to focus on the car's high-tech accoutrements and declare it the whiz kid of rear-wheel-drive sedans—you've got in-dash apps accessed by a mouse-like controller, a heads-up display, adaptive suspension, lane departure warning (and correction) and even a sensor that watches your face to make sure your eyes are open. The GS' primary owner's manual (there are a few smaller supplemental ones) runs to nearly 900 pages.

But beneath the GS' legion of microprocessors there lies a fundamentally enjoyable analog driving experience. Put the rear-wheel-drive chassis in sport mode, grab a gear with the hefty steering wheel paddle shifters and the GS is surprisingly game for full-throttle back-road antics, the 306-hp V6 belting out a vocal snarl. Yes, there's a pile of tech wizardry in the new GS. But it's a pile of tech wizardry that will do 0-60 in 5.7 seconds, if you care to ask.